Knock on Wood


Fiction - Literary
452 Pages
Reviewed on 08/23/2020
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Shrabastee Chakraborty for Readers' Favorite

In Knock on Wood, Billy Baker used to have a picture-perfect life. Doting parents, an older brother, superb grades, a best friend, and a childhood sweetheart but everything changed following Billy's near-drowning. Now at thirty, William Baker is unable to perform even the simplest tasks and remains in his mother's care. After winning a million dollars in the lottery, William moves in with Donald, his brother. Here, unbeknownst to him, he becomes entangled in a nefarious scheme that his slow brain cannot even comprehend. With a hitman relentlessly pursuing him and Donald intent on taking his money, can William save himself? What will happen when his memory finally resurfaces? You have to read Leslie Tall Manning's novel to get the answers.

Knock on Wood, a screenplay turned into a full-length novel, is an emotionally stirring read. By narrating the story from the perspectives of different characters, Manning allows us a holistic viewpoint. She expertly uses Billy, William's teenage version hidden deep inside his psyche, to narrate his parts. The knowledge of the characters’ backstories makes them relatable and enables us to root for them. William’s long-cherished dreams of a normal life, so easily shattered by a cruel fate, remind us of life’s unpredictability. The gradual decline of Donald’s character evokes our pity. After some unexpected twists, Manning reveals the long-held secrets in a tense moment of climax. I would recommend this book to readers who appreciate dramatic contemporary fiction.